Accessibility statement

Katherine Smith


  • BA in English in Education at The University of York from 2014 – 2017
  • MA in Social Justice and Education at The University of York from 2017 – 2018
  • PhD Education at The University of York from 2019 - present

When I first came to York I had no idea that I would end up staying for so long! My original goal of becoming an English teacher changed when I discovered all the policies surrounding English education that I did not agree with or believe to be the best they could be. Now, more than 5 years after starting my journey at York I hope to one day influence educational policy with my research and to put key ideas relating to social justice at the forefront of teaching English Literature.



  • 2017 Education Departmental Prize for the highest mark in an undergraduate dissertation


“I was radically both” Girls Reading Gender in 19th Century GCSE English Literature Set Novels

My research explores the relationship that girls who are sitting their GCSE in English Literature have with the novels that they encounter. Through focus group discussions of the characters, authors and themes of the novels they study, my participants provide insights into the experience of being a young woman in the present day as well as how this relates to their experiences of studying English and what they like and dislike about the curriculum.



Dr Clementine Beauvais & Prof. Vanita Sundaram



  • 2019: ReCSS Interdisciplinary PhD Award scheme
  • 2019: WRDTP Childhood, Education and Youth Pathway Funding

Teaching experience & Departmental Roles

Teaching experience

  • GTA Creative & Critical Approaches to English (2019-present)
  • GTA Education, Policy & Society (2020-present)


Departmental Roles

  • GTA Representative (2020 - current)
  • CRESJ News & Blog Editor (2019-2020)
  • PAL Co-ordinator (2019-present)
  • Chair of the GCR Derwent College (2018-2020)



Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @KatieKarenina



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Contact details

Katherine Smith
PhD Researcher & Peer Assisted Learning Coordinator (Undergraduate)
University of York